After closing out the decade with our 100 favorite films, The Film Stage has come together once again to bring you 65 films that we have hope for in 2010. These range from small, foreign independent films to massive budget blockbusters. There is a reason each of these films is on the list so start checking them out below!
A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, Feb. 12th)
Plot: A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.
Why You Should See It: Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, this is Audiard’s first film since 2005′s The Beat That My Heart Skipped. Thanks to its raw style, sprawling story and perfect performances, this is one of the best foreign films I’ve ever seen. – Jordan R.
Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, Feb. 19th)
Plot: Set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.
Why You Should See It: Scorsese dips into the horror/thriller genre with this tale of twists and surprises. After reading Dennis Lehane’s novel, I’m confident Scorsese is the man to bring justice to the eclectic story. Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams and Jackie Earle Haley star. – Jordan R.
Alice In Wonderland (Tim Burton, Mar. 5th)
Plot: Nineteen-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, reuniting with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen’s reign of terror.
Why You Should See It: It’s a Tim Burton film, why wouldn’t you see it? It looks fun and seems to keep Burton’s crazily imaginative shtick. Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman and Mia Wasikowska star. – Jack G.
Green Zone (Paul Greengrass, Mar. 12th)
Plot: Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for WMDs in an unstable Iraq.
Why You Should See It: Considering The Bourne Ultimatum was my favorite film of the last decade and Matt Damon is my favorite actor, I am thoroughly pumped for this film. Much happier than what I would feel if this was Bourne 4. Greengrass and Damon work very well together and it’s going to be nice to see what they can pull off with a new storyline. – Merrill B.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Steve Pink, Mar. 19th)
Plot: Four guys travel back to their respective 80s heydays thanks to a time-bending hot tub.
Why You Should See It: Because, with any luck, it could be this year’s The Hangover, only with much dirtier jokes and a much stranger cast. Not convinced? Steve Pink, the director, co-wrote Cusack comic gems High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank. – Dan M.
Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, Mar. 26th)
Plot: A jobless New Yorker moves to Los Angeles in order to figure out his life while he housesits for his brother. He soon sparks with his brother’s assistant, a musician and somewhat of a lost soul herself.
Why You Should See It: The Squid and the Whale was one of my favorite films of the previous decade and I even enjoyed Margot at the Wedding, Baumbach’s previous feature. He has proved he still has it with his writing work on Fantastic Mr. Fox and I can’t wait to see his newest feature, led by Ben Stiller. – Jordan R.
Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier, Mar. 26th)
Plot: In a loose adaptation from Greek mythology, Perseus (who was birthed from a god but raised as a man) sets off on an epic mission to combat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus and unleash hell on earth.
Why You Should See It: While the original Clash of the Titans is no classic and extremely outdated, that’s exactly why it’s refreshing to see Louis Letrerrier putting his over-the-top action spin on it. Any film with Liam Neeson yelling, an oversized dragon roaring and plenty of swordplay screams pure entertainment. – Jack G.
Cemetery Junction (Ricky Gervais + Stephen Merchant, Apr. 7th – UK)
Plot: A 1970s-set comedy centered on three upstart professional men working at an insurance company.
Why You Should See It: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant co-created two of the most inventive comedies – The Office (UK) and Extras – modern television’s had to offer. Now they’re going for a more seriocomic look, in film form, at office life. Young professionals (unknowns Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan) toil away at an insurance company in 1970s working-class England. – Mark M.
Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, Apr. 16th)
Plot: Despite the fact that he has zero superpowers, teenage fanboy Dave Lizewski looks to reincarnate himself as a crime-fighting superhero named Kick-Ass, a decision that will inspire a subculture of copy cats, put his life in danger, and unite him with a similarly minded father-daughter duo.
Why You Should See It: The green band trailer had me giddy with excitement and the red band made me go “who… what… how… this… is… awesome.” I can’t wait to see some good old Nic Cage overacting and teenagers, well, kicking ass. – Merrill B.
Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone, Apr. 23rd)
Plot: As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, a young Wall Street trader partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader’s mentor.
Why You Should See It: Oliver Stone returns to day trading. Michael Douglas reprises his role as the sleazy and greedy Gordon Gekko. Taking place in June ’08 he tries to warn share holders of an upcoming market crash, though with trouble due to his recent release from prison. - Hash A.
Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau, May 7th)
Plot: With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military.
Why You Should See It: How will Downey’s Stark deal with the many trials, both literally and figuratively, as the government demands he hand over the suit while he’s pitted against corporate rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and heavily armored Whiplash (Mickey Rourke). – Dan G.
Stone (John Curran, May 7th)
Plot: A convicted arsonist looks to manipulate a parole officer into a plan to secure his parole by placing his beautiful wife in the lawman’s path.
Why You Should See It: Complete with a creative premise (via Junebug scribe Angus MacLachlan) and a trio of risk-taking, accomplished leads in Robert De Niro, Milla Jokovich and Edward Norton, this looks like a character drama with equal amounts of both character and drama. – Dan M.
Robin Hood (Ridley Scott, May 14th)
Plot: The story of an archer in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion who fights against the Norman invaders and becomes the legendary hero known as Robin Hood.
Why You Should See It: Despite the painfully generic trailers, it’s difficult not get excited for Robin Hood. It’s a Ridley Scott film with Russell Crowe leading a group of ragtag warriors. That turned out pretty well last time. - Jack G.
Prince of Persia (Mike Newell, May 28th)
Plot: Set in medieval Persia, a rogue prince (Gyllenhaal) joins a mysterious princess (Arterton) in an effort to prevent a dark force from obtaining an ancient dagger that allows its handler to rule the world.
Why You Should See It: The video game film genre is constantly bogged down by the liking of people like Uwe Boll, so it’s no wonder why films based off video games have never quite worked. But for this one, a big name (Jerry Bruckheimer) is backing it and I don’t think he wants to let us down. I am a huge fan of the Prince of Persia games and the lush trailer promises a sign of things to come. – Merrill B.
The A-Team (Joe Carnahan, June 11th)
Plot: A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.
Why You Should See It: A contemporary look at the classic television show, a group of ex US Special Ops members during the First Gulf War now work as mercenaries. This features an all-star cast including Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, and District 9‘s Sharlto Copley. Sure, it’s pure entertainment, but as long as it does its job it should be a good time at the movies.- Hash A.
Get Him To The Greek (Nicholas Stoller, June 11th)
Plot: A record company intern (Hill) is hired to accompany out-of-control British rock star Aldous Snow (Brand) to a concert at L.A.’s Greek Theater.
Why You Should See It: Since the early days of Freaks and Geeks, Apatow Production comedy has been the most consistent and reliable comedy outlet in the film industry. Constantly pushing the envelope and creating ridiculous new stories, betting on an Apatow film is definitely a safe bet. Apatow regulars, Jonah Hill and Russel Brand will be returning in what is sure to be a hilarious summer hit. – Addam H.
Jonah Hex (Jimmy Hayward, June 18th)
Plot: The U.S. military gives bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) and offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom from the warrants on his head, he’s to take down a terrorist (John Malkovich) who is gathering an army and preparing to unleash Hell on Earth.
Why You Should See It: Jonah Hex is something of a lovable, if dark hero and with Brolin playing him, it will surely be quite a bit of fun. While it’ll most likely be played safe with a PG-13 rating (the firing of Neveldine/Taylor as the writing team also disconcerting), it will be interesting to see how they handle this not-so-generic comic book hero. – Jack G.
Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, June 18th)
Plot: Woody (Hanks), Buzz (Allen), and the rest of their toy-box friends are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college.
Why You Should See It: Pixar is headed back to the start of what defined their early success with the 3rd entry into the Toy Story saga. As I’m just leaving college I can’t help but relate to Andy as he heads into the next part of his life. Visiting Woody and Buzz again is one my most anticipated experiences this year. – Jordan R.
The Last Airbender (M. Night Shyamalan, July 2nd)
Plot: Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars, learns that he possesses the power to engage the Fire Nation and hopefully end their century-long war against the Water, Earth, and Air nations.
Why You Should See It: Shyamalan’s chance to redeem himself with a match made in heaven. In a world where elements can be controlled, a boy is chosen as the physical incarnation of the planet and given all abilities and knowledge of the previous incarnations with the task of preventing a war. Based on the animated show Avatar. – Hash A.
Knight and Day (James Mangold, July 2nd)
Plot: An action-comedy centered on a fugitive couple on a globe-spanning adventure where, amid shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals, nothing and no one are what they seem.
Why You Should See It: An adventure that follows the paths of a fugitive couple, spy Tom Cruise and the cute innocent Cameron Diaz. Their race for survival across the globe teaches them a lot about the battle of Truth vs. Trust as they deal with many shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals. Directed by James Mangold, the man behind 3:10 To Yuma and Walk The Line. – Dan G.
Predators (Nimrod Antal, July 7th)
Plot: A group of elite warriors are hunted by members of a merciless alien race.
Why You Should See It: Nimrod Antal, a fanboy’s dream cast, and plenty of hard-R kills will turn this into a return to form for the Predator franchise. It’s been about twenty-three years since a film that dealt with Predators was cool, that wait will soon be over. - Jack G.
Inception (Christopher Nolan, July 16th)
Plot: A sci-fi/thriller set within the “architecture of the mind”.
Why You Should See It: Ten years ago Christopher Nolan started off the decade with a psychological thriller meant to take the audience on a journey through the depths of the main character’s mind. Well, now we actually get to enter that mind. Inception has all the makings of the ultimate psychological thriller. DiCaprio has proved himself this past decade as a real actor and not just some pretty boy who was nothing more than a one hit wonder. I can’t wait to see what Nolan has in store for us. – Merrill B.
With summer winding down, more often than not August has us wishing we could simply skip ahead a month to kick off the fall festival season. This year, however, there’s a handful of worthwhile options, including Marvel’s best offering yet, peculiar festival titles that are finally arriving in theaters (some 15 months later), and much […]
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. If we were provided screener copies, we’ll have our own write-up, but if that’s not the case, one can find official descriptions from the distributors. Check out […]
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, editor Nick Newman, writer Danny King, and I dive right into Richard Linklater‘s 12-year intimate epic Boyhood. After that, we take a look at the films coming to theaters and home video in the coming week, including Noah, Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, Guardians of the […]
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